• Coryn Rivera celebrates her win at the 2017 Tour of Flanders (Getty)Source: Getty
Pocket rocket Coryn Rivera (Sunbweb) triumphed after a long, hard sprint in a big bunch, beating a boxed in Gracie Elvin (Orica-Scott) and Dutch Classics specialist Chantal Blaak.
Cycling Central
3 Apr 2017 - 1:22 AM  UPDATED 3 Apr 2017 - 11:27 AM

Fresh from her third place on the podium last weekend at the "mini" Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem, the American rider today conquered 153km, 12 climbs and five cobbled sectors and has probably done enough now to prove she's suited to the harder stuff. 

But for Rivera, like many riders in both the men's and the women's pro peloton, winning the Tour of Flanders while not a surprise to her, was also what dreams are made of. 

"It's unbelievable. I can't begin to explain. It feels like i'm in a dream," she said.

"I wasn't surprised - not with the team and (the bunch) - I have to be there and when my teammates are counting on me I have to do my job.

"It's unreal. It reminds me of racing in America, the crowds are wild the fans are insane. It's one of the hardest most technical races of the year. It's unreal for sure."

It's Rivera's second Women's WorldTour race win of the season after victory in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda two weeks ago. 

Boels Dolmans had many cards to play today, blocking chasers from reaching Van der Breggen initially, then with Blaak there for the bunch sprint.

"I think we did an excellent race. In my opinion, we dominated the race," Boels Dolmans  DS Danny Stam said. "We had a break with four with Anna on it, but I wasn't sure Anna would win the sprint from the four. I told her not to ride. They got them back on the last kilometre. We played the card Chantal in the sprint and she got beaten."

The bunch caught a cheeky break comprising Katarzyna Niewiadoma (WM3), Annemiek Van Vleuten (Orica-Scott), Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5) who escaped on the Oude Kwaremont with 15km to go. 

These four riders also escaped off the front on the Kruisberg 10 kilometres earlier, but were almost caught just before Oude Kwaremont. 

Apart from a lone attack by Rozanne Slik (Sunweb) after 100km raced, the bunch stayed together.